It's no secret in local soccer circles that Biniam Afenegus is passionate about the sport.
More evidence of how committed the Clark College men's coach is to soccer came Tuesday when he was introduced as the first head coach of the Vancouver Victory FC, an amateur men's soccer team expected to begin play in May. Afenegus will continue to coach at Clark.
The team, which plans to feature current and former college players, is one of eight charter members of the new Evergreen Premier League. All eight teams are in the state of Washington.
Barrett Goddard, the owner and general manager of Victory FC, called Afenegus the perfect coach to build a team from scratch. Filomon Afenegus and Sean Jansen will be assistant coaches. Filomon Afenegus, Biniam's brother, is the coach for the Columbia River High School girls program. Jansen is the assistant coach at Clark.
Goddard made the announcement during an event at Brewed 360 in downtown Vancouver that was attended by members of the Timbers Army Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance is the Clark County chapter of the Timbers Army, the Portland Timbers supporters' group.
Biniam Afenegus said he will look to build a roster that includes top local players, but said he also will look for players from outside the area, including internationally.
The Evergreen Premier League is tentatively scheduled to play a 14-match season between May and July. Biniam Afenegus said that timetable works well with his Clark College duties.
Goddard, who has been a coach for youth teams, Ridgefield High School and Clark College teams, said that tickets information and other details about the 2014 schedule will be announced after the team officially goes into business on Jan. 1.
He said he has had discussions with Evergreen Public Schools about using McKenzie Stadium for home matches.